A prosecuting attorney treats every homicide case as first degree murder and uses miniature replicas of human skulls to tally the death sentences that he garners. Then he himself is beset by the urge to murder.
An above-average public domain film from Universal Pictures.
May 15, 2013 Subject:
Cliche and creaky, but fun
This story of the too aggressive DA learning a life lesson reminds me of the slightly overheated radio dramas of the era. Nothing particularly surprising happens here, but it's got a dose of style and some diverting performances. Pleasant.
May 9, 2012 Subject:
Warren William at his self-centered best
Warren William always came across in his movies as someone who really felt like he was the whole show - a cocksure, unreasonably self-centered man, oblivious to others' opinions about him. That acting method suited him well in this role as the unexplainably vindictive DA. He feels only execution is acceptable for those who commit homicide, even if they might have had some justification, and he automatically assumes that everyone around him agrees.
Atmospheric early scenes are reminiscent of James Whale's "Frankenstein," with the emphasis on deadly electricity being used for executions.
About 2/3 of the way through, one can foresee the "kiss before the mirror" becoming the DA's undoing.
At about 45:25, or so, look for the cigarette in Warren William's right hand magically appear in his left as he's talking with the defense attorney. A subtle reminder of the editing that takes place, even in the simplest scenes.
May 1, 2012 Subject:
A moderate drama, but enhanced by the presence of Gail Patrick as the D.A's wife and a young Constance Moore in a bit part.